The Hello Ladies Guide to Sexism in Politics (revisited)
Clearly it’s time to revisit The Hello Ladies Guide to Sexism in Politics.
Recently, in a story about whether Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan would run for governor, a reporter for the Chicago Sun Times wrote, “Madigan and her husband, Pat Byrnes, have two young children, ages 7 and 4. She was asked whether she could serve as governor and still raise her kids the way she wants to.”
Shortly after the Democratic National Convention, Eric Golub, a writer for the Washington Times communities section, had this to say about some of the prominent women speakers: “Sandra Fluke and Elizabeth Warren gave shrill, angry, hysterical speeches that validate every negative stereotype about women. They began their speeches enraged and ended somewhere between conniption and apoplectic.”
Then there was Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh. Referring to one of GOP Senator Scott Brown’s campaign ads, Walsh said, "He spent a couple million dollars folding towels on TV to prove he’s an honorary girl.”
We wish we didn't have to, but in an effort to help easily identify and respond to unfair treatment of female politicians, here again is “The Hello Ladies Guide to Sexism in Politics.”
Overt sexism: In this category we have the outrageous remarks that make you scream, “How does this person (insert name of person who spoke or wrote the sexist comment) keep their job?!” Examples: Conan O’Brien sidekick Andy Richter’s recent tweet: “There’s nothing wrong with Michele Bachmann that two solid weeks of orgasms won’t cure.” Statements like that attempt to reduce a female candidate to a shrew, a sexual object, anything but a viable contender for the job. An Alex Beam column in The Boston Globe during the Massachusetts Senate race last year qualified because it shifted the focus, even if only briefly, from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s front-runner status to her looks. And, of course, the web ad depicting Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn as a pole dancer was one of the most offensive displays of sexism in politics we’ve seen.